P Visas:

How to get a P Visa to Work in the USA

P Visa USA Requirements

Our law firm assists international professionals obtain the P-1 Visa for Athletes, P-2 Visa for artists and entertainers, and P-3 visa for culturally unique performers and musicians.
The P-1 Visa category includes all athletes who perform at an internationally recognized level of performance and who fall into one of four categories.
Individual athletes
Athletes who are members of certain professional leagues
Athletes and coaches who participate in certain amateur leagues
Athletes who participate in theatrical ice skating productions
The P-2 visa is specific to artists (solo or group) who are emerging artists, as well as those of international recognition entering the U.S. in a reciprocal exchange program.
The P-3 visa is for groups that are culturally unique such as musicians performing folk music of their home country.
Our firm can guide you through obtaining the necessary documents and filing a petition on your behalf.

P-1A Internationally Recognized Athlete Requirements

The P-1 classification applies to you if you are coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance.

Individual Athletes Eligibility Criteria

You must be coming to the United States to participate in team events and must have achieved significant international recognition in the sport. The event in which your team is participating must be distinguished and require the participation of athletic teams of international recognition.

Application Process

To come to the United States your U.S. employer must file a Form I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker, accompanied by the appropriate fee and supporting documentation. Please note a petitioner who will be filing as an agent for multiple employers must establish that it is duly authorized to act as an agent. The required conditions can be found at the link to the right (see the memorandum “Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications”. The U.S. employer must submit a consultation from an appropriate labor organization. The consultation must describe the work or services to be performed in the United States and your qualifications for such work. If no appropriate labor organization exists, this requirement is excused.

Supporting Documents

Sky Usa Law assists our clients in drafting and obtaining the supporting documentation necessary.
A written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
A copy of the contract with a major U.S. sports league or team or a contract in an individual sport commensurate with international recognition in the sport, if such contracts are normally utilized in the sport
An explanation of the event and itinerary
Documentation of at least two of the following:
Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season with a major United States sports league
Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in international competition with a national team
Evidence of having participated to a significant extent in a prior season for a U.S. college or university in intercollegiate competition
A written statement from an official of a major U.S. sports league or an official of the governing body of the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized
A written statement from a member of the sports media or a recognized expert in the sport which details how you or your team is internationally recognized
Evidence that you or your team is ranked, if the sport has international rankings
Evidence that you or your team has received a significant honor or award in the sport

Applying for a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate

Once the visa petition is approved, you can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

Initial Period of Stay Extension of Stay

Individual Athlete - Time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 5 years

Individual Athlete –Increments of up to 5 years in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance. Total stay is limited to 10 years.

Athletic Group - Time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 1 year

Athletic Group – Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance.

Essential Support Personnel - Time to complete the event, activity, or performance, may not exceed 1 year

Increments of up to 5 years in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance. Total stay is limited to 10 years

Family of P-1A Visa Holders

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment, but may attend school or college.

Essential Support Personnel

Essential Support Personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 athlete (team) and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-1 classification. Support personnel may include coaches, scouts, trainers and other team officials and referees.
The U.S. employer must file a separate Form I-129 for support personnel. The petition must include the following documents:
A consultation from an from an appropriate labor organization with expertise in the area of the support person’s skill
A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentiality, critical skills and experience with the P-1 athlete (team)
A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed

P-1B Visa Requirements A Member of an Internationally Recognized Entertainment Group

The P-1B classification applies to you if you are coming to the United States temporarily to perform as a member of an entertainment group that has been recognized internationally as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time.

Eligibility Criteria

At least 75 percent of the members of your group must have had a substantial and sustained relationship with the group for at least one year. Your entertainment group must be internationally recognized, having a high level of achievement in a field evidenced by a degree of skill and recognition substantially above that ordinarily encountered. The reputation of the group, not the individual achievements of its members or the acclaim of a particular production, is essential. Note: Individual entertainers not performing as part of a group are not eligible for this visa classification. Special Provisions for Certain Entertainment Groups Alien circus performers and essential circus personnel are exempt the one year requirement and the internationally recognized requirement. The alien or aliens must be coming to join a nationally recognized circus. Certain nationally known entertainment groups may have the internationally recognized requirement waived if they can establish they have been recognized nationally as outstanding in its discipline for a sustained amount of time in consideration of special circumstances.

Application Process

Your U.S. employer must submit:
Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker accompanied by the appropriate fee and supporting documentation.
Please note that if you are a petitioner who will be filing as an agent for multiple employers you must establish that you are duly authorized to act as an agent. The required conditions can be found at the link to the right (see the memorandum “Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications”.
A consultation from an appropriate labor organization regarding the nature of the work to be done or a statement proving that the group has been established and performing regularly for a period of at least one year (If no appropriate labor organization exists, this requirement is excused)

Supporting Documents

Our immigration attorneys assists you and your employer with providing the following required documents:
Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
Itinerary with the dates and locations of the performances
A copy of the contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or summary of terms of the oral agreement under which the beneficiary will be employed
Evidence that your group has been established and performing regularly for at least one year
Statement from the petitioner listing each member of the group and the exact dates for which each member has been employed on a regular basis by the group
Evidence that your group is internationally recognized as outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time as demonstrated by evidence of your group's receipt of, or nomination for, significant international awards or prizes for outstanding achievement in the field, or evidence of at least three of the following:
Your group has performed and will perform as a starring or leading entertainment group in production or events which have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by critical reviews, advertisements, publicity releases, publications, contracts, or endorsements
Your group has achieved international recognition and acclaim for outstanding achievement in its field as evidenced by reviews in major newspapers, trade journals, magazines or other published material
Your group has performed and will perform services as a leading or starring group for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation as evidenced by articles in newspapers, trade journals, publications, or testimonials
Your group has a record of major commercial or critically acclaimed successes, as evidenced by indicators such as ratings, box office receipts, record, cassette or video sales, and other achievements as reported in trade journals, major newspapers or other publications
Your group has received significant recognition for achievements from critics, organizations, government agencies or other recognized experts in the field
Your group has commanded and will command a high salary or other substantial remuneration for services comparable to others similarly situated in the field, as evidenced by contracts or other reliable evidence

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

Initial Period of Stay Extension of Stay

Time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 1 year

Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance.

Change of employer

You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new application. Our office assists with this process. Contact our office to discuss your case, we provide free consultation.

Family of P-1B Visa Holders

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment, but may attend school or college.

Essential Support Personnel

Essential Support Personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 entertainer(s) and who perform support services which cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-1 classification. Support personnel include front office personnel, camera operators, lighting technicians and stage personnel.
Our U.S. immigration lawyer also assists your employer to file a separate application for support personnel. The application must include the following documents:
A consultation from an appropriate labor organization
A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills and experience with the P-1 entertainer(s)
A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed.
Contact our office to discuss your case, we provide free consultation.

P-2 Individual Performer or Part of a Group Entering to Perform Under a Reciprocal Exchange Program Requirements

The P-2 classification applies to you if you are coming temporarily to perform as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country.

Eligibility Criteria

You must be an artist entering the United States through a government recognized reciprocal exchange program. In addition, you must possess skills comparable to those of the United States artists and entertainers taking part in the program outside the United States.

Application Process

In order for you to qualify for a P-2 Visa, a sponsoring labor organization in the United States, or your U.S. employer must file Form I-129, Petition for a Non-Immigrant Worker. For more information about the Form, 129, see the “Form 1-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker” link to the right.
Please note that a petitioner who will be filing as an agent for multiple employers must establish that it is duly authorized to act as an agent. The required conditions can be found at the link to the right (see the memorandum “Requirements for Agents and Sponsors Filing as Petitioners for the O and P Visa Classifications”.

Supporting Documents

We assist you and your employer in gathering and drafting the following documentation according to U.S. government standards.
Written consultation by an appropriate labor organization
Copy of the formal reciprocal exchange agreement between the sponsoring U.S. organization(s) and the organization(s) in a foreign country which will receive the United States artist or entertainer
Statement from the sponsoring organization describing the reciprocal exchange of United States artists or entertainers as it relates to the specific petition for which classification is sought Evidence that you and the U.S. artist or entertainer subject to the reciprocal exchange agreement are artists with comparable skills and that the terms and conditions of employment are similar
Evidence that an appropriate labor organization in the United States was involved in negotiating, or has concurred with, the reciprocal exchange of U.S. and foreign artists or entertainers.
Note: If the events or performances will take place in multiple areas, an itinerary must be submitted. The itinerary must list the dates and locations of the events.

Applying for a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate

Once the visa petition is approved, you can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate. For more information on visa application processing and issuance fees, see the “Department of State, travel.state.gov” link to the right.

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

Initial Period of Stay Extension of Stay

Time needed to complete the event, competition or performance, not to exceed 1 year

Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, competition or performance.

Change of employer

You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved. Contact our office to discuss your case, we provide free consultation.

Essential Support Personnel

Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P- 2 artist or entertainer and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-2 classification. Support personnel may include stagehands, trainers, or those persons having critical knowledge of the specific services to be performed.
Our office assists your employer in filing the necessary documentation for support personnel, including:
Consultation from an appropriate labor organization
Statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills and experience with the P-2 artist or entertainer
Copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed.
Contact our office to discuss your case, we provide free consultation.

P-3 Artist or Entertainer Requirements for Coming to Be Part of a Culturally Unique Program

The P-3 classification applies to you if you are coming temporarily to perform, teach or coach as artists or entertainers, individually or as part of a group, under a program that is culturally unique.

Eligibility Criteria

For a P-3 visa, you must be coming to the United States either individually or as a group for the purpose of developing, interpreting, representing, coaching, or teaching a unique or traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. In addition, you must be coming to the United States to participate in a cultural event or events which will further the understanding or development of your art form. The program may be of a commercial or noncommercial nature.

Application Process

Our lawyers assist with developing a file with the following required documents.

Supporting Documents

Your Form I-129 must include the following documents:
Written consultation from an appropriate labor organization
A copy of the contract between the petitioner and the beneficiary or the summary of the terms of an oral agreement between the petitioner and the beneficiary
An explanation of the event and itinerary
Affidavits, testimonials or letters from recognized experts attesting to the authenticity of your or your group's skills in performing, presenting, coaching or teaching the unique and traditional art forms and giving the credentials of the expert including the basis of his or her knowledge of your or your group’s skills; OR documentation that your or your group’s performance is culturally unique as evidenced by reviews in newspapers, journals or other published materials.
Documentation that all of the performances or presentations will be culturally unique events
Note: If the events or performances will take place in multiple areas, an itinerary must be submitted. The itinerary must list the dates and locations of the events.

Period of Stay/Extension of Stay

Initial Period of Stay Extension of Stay

Time needed to complete the event, activity or performance, not to exceed 1 year

Increments of up to 1 year in order to continue or complete the event, activity or performance.

Change of employer

You may change employers, but only after your new employer has filed a new Form I-129 with USCIS requesting permission to employ you and extend your stay. You may not commence employment with the new employer until the Form I-129 has been approved.
Contact our office to discuss your case, we provide free consultation.

Family of P-3 Visa Holders

Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may obtain P-4 status. Your dependents may not engage in employment, but may attend school or college.

Essential Support Personnel

Essential support personnel who are an integral part of the performance of a P- 3 artist or entertainer and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker, are eligible for P-3 classification. Support personnel may include coaches, scouts, trainers and other team officials and referees.
Our office assists the U.S. employer to file a separate application for support personnel. Our immigration lawyer assists to include the following documents:
A consultation from an appropriate labor organization
A statement describing the support person’s prior and current essentially, critical skills and experience with the P-3 artist or entertainer
A copy of a written contract between the employer and the support person or a summary of the terms of the oral agreement under which the support person will be employed
Contact our office to discuss your case, we provide free consultation.
Learn about other options such as the O-1 visa for athletes and entertainers as well on this site.

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